By Chanteé Lans


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Giving birth in the time of a pandemic has expectant mothers understandably worried. Two local women have had to adjust their birth plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two pregnant women in the region spoke with CBS3 on Saturday night. One woman is from Pennsauken, New Jersey, and is having her baby at Penn Hospital in the coming weeks.

The other is from Philadelphia. She decided that after the outbreak to have her baby at home.

South Philadelphia resident Shakirah Abdullah is a mother of four, who will be welcoming her fifth child — a baby girl in May — during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s been hard because I’ve had the stress of worrying about if I go to the hospital with my baby or I will contract the virus,” Abdullah said.

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She was originally supposed to have her baby at the birthing center, but after the staff there changed her birthing plan, she took another direction and opted to have her baby at home.

“I spoke to probably 10 different midwives and they spike their pricing due to COVID-19,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah, who is a teacher and has health insurance, says her policy does not cover midwives.

Over in Pennsauken, Ciara Desper is considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. She’s planning to deliver her baby one week after Abdullah at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

“It is absolutely terrifying, especially for someone like me who worked so hard to get pregnant,” she said. “And then having one of the pregnancies. And now here comes on top of everything, COVID-19.”

She says Penn Hospital changed its policy to only allow one visitor, which will be her husband, Avery.

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“It can be a little nerve-wracking a little bit at times when you think about it, having to step foot into the hospitals. Even now, she’s going for doctor visits,” he said.

They will welcome their first child — a baby girl during an unprecedented era.

For Abdullah, she’s staying in prayer.

“I have faith. I believe that God will get me through this, will get my baby through this,” Abdullah said.

Officials with the CDC say they still do not know if a pregnant woman with coronavirus can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.